Each spring fraternity and sorority collegiate and alumni members visit Capitol Hill to advocate for the fraternal experience. The annual Capitol Hill visits is one of the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition’s (FGRC) most visible advocacy efforts. FGRC is a collaborative effort among the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), the Fraternity and Sorority Action Fund (FSAF) and the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC). Their work is vital to preserving the fraternal experience millions of men and women have benefited from.
FGRC advocates for federal public policies that allow fraternities and sororities to continue their role developing the personal growth, leadership skills, civic engagement and academic support needed to transform today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders. Collectively, FGRC advocates for more than 9 million members.
This year, discussions included garnering support for federal anti-hazing legislation and continuing to support the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) to aid in college affordability. However, a major discussion was the preservation of the fraternity/sorority experience and students’ constitutional rights. More than 250 fraternity and sorority members met with legislators and their staffs to discuss the rights of students to join single-sex* organizations.
In their conversations, the members asked lawmakers to:
Include clear language that preserves students’ freedom of association rights in the Collegiate Freedom of Association Act.
Deny funds in FY 2020 appropriations to higher education institutions that recently have imposed sanctions or penalties on students exercising their freedom of association rights to join legally recognized single-sex organizations.
These visits are very important to help ensure the preservation of the sorority experience and the rights of all members. Engaging with congressional staff members can further the priorities of NPC and its member organizations as relationships are built. NPC is excited for the 2020 Hill Visits where we will continue our work to advance the sorority experience.
*The term “single-sex” is used accordingly in reference to our organizations that are women’s only. We understand that many members may prefer the term “single-gender” and that there is a difference between the two words; however, “single-sex” is used within Title IX and NPC Unanimous Agreement X. For consistency purposes, we have chosen to use “single-sex” here.